Archived Exhibits


Made possible through the generosity of The Toundas Family
“Hagia Sophia – The Jewel of the City”

59 Contestant Submissions

In conjunction with the annual commemoration of the Fall of Constantinople, the Saint Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine is proud to display the entrants’ submissions to the inaugural Drawing Competition open to children ages 9-12 of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

An enduring symbol of the Imperial Capital and of the Orthodox Church is the “Jewel of The City,” the magnificent Church of the Holy Wisdom, Haghia Sophia. Built under Emperor Justinian I in Constantinople in the 6th century, the “Great Church” was the cathedral of the Ecumenical Patriarchate until the Fall of the City about 900 years later when it was forcibly changed to a mosque under the Ottoman conquerors. After the end of the Ottoman Empire, it was converted into a museum at the beginning of the 20th century, though recently converted back to a mosque under the current leadership of modern Turkey.

Participants submitted drawings of the famous Haghia Sophia, the Church of the Holy Wisdom, still a symbol of the vibrant faith, culture and spirit of the Hellenes and the Ecumenical Patriarchate that continue in Constantinople, modern-day Istanbul, Turkey.

The annual commemoration of the Fall of Constantinople is not only a remembrance of the Fall of the capital of the Roman Empire on May 29, 1453 by the Ottomans who finally took the “Queen of Cities” established by Saint Constantine the Great some eleven centuries earlier; rather, it is also a celebration of Byzantine culture and the Hellenic culture that sprang from this pivotal event in world history.

The Greek Revolution through American Eyes

Directed by Dr. Tom Papademetriou (Stockton University) and Dr. Nicholas Ganson (Hellenic College).  Created in partnership between the Maliotis Cultural Center and the Dean C. and Zoë S. Pappas Interdisciplinary Center for Hellenic Studies of Stockton University in New Jersey and hosted in part by the St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine.

This unique Exhibit, commemorating the 200th anniversary of the start of the Greek Revolution in 1821, explores the common themes binding Greece and the United States. It serves as a dual-lens, allowing viewers to see the Greek revolutionary events and their significance through the writings and actions of Americans who supported and fought in the war. This modified physical exhibit is made up of ten-panel displays with information researched by sixteen contributing scholars from the US and Greece.

“The Greek Revolution through American Eyes” also allows viewers to consider the formation of U.S. identity in the first fifty years of the nation’s existence, as foreign policy was taking shape and slavery was leading the country to its own war. 

In conjunction with this exhibit, the St. Photios National Shrine has produced a 10-minute documentary specifically showcasing Philhellenes who aided in the Greek Revolution of 1821, titled, “Hail, Oh Hail, Liberty! A Bicentennial Celebration of Greek Independence: 1821-2021.” 

The film, played continuously at the Shrine’s exhibit in honor of the 200th anniversary of the Greek War for Independence housed in St. Augustine, Florida, may also be viewed on the St. Photios Facebook Page @StPhotios.

Curated by Aliki Tsiarglou of the Benaki Museum, Athens, Greece
Made Possible by a Grant from Leadership 100 and the St. Johns County Council for the Arts

Curated by Peter C. Yalanis
Made Possible by a Grant from the Kathie D’Anna Charitable Trust

Curated by Dr. William Samonides and Dr. Regine Samonides
Made Possible by a Grant from Leadership100 the Kathie D’Anna Charitable Trust